One critic said about Some Help From the Dead, “These are flawless poems, poems I like as much as any of W.S. Merwin’s poems (at his best).” In this, her third collection, Ally Acker continues her fascination with how the familiar proves to be mysterious, how the present, past, and future all merge as our lives progress. As Elizabeth Bishop once wrote, the art of losing isn’t hard to master. And so with her ear tuned to the ground, garnering wisdom from those who have passed, Acker listens for the lyrical cadences of nature on what is lost, and found again.
The mundane becomes surreal, (as in “The Window,” “where the photographs are where / the building once was: / Cows, mountains, streams. / But her landlord will do nothing,” and in her extraordinarily inventive interpretations of the paintings by the Surrealist, Remedios Varo), and the surreal transmutes into the quotidian. What arises is a miraculous resonance in the everyday, and a poetry that celebrates the living.